I know a lot of family and friends consider my dietary choices to be a bother, some probably think I’m flat out ridiculous. I’ve had plenty of people throw in flour to a recipe they’re making, furtively glancing over their shoulder to see if I’ll notice thinking “a little won’t hurt.” Honestly I get it, I know it seems like a pain. I don’t even have the “excuse” of having a medical condition. But it also hurts my feelings, especially when the same people covertly throwing flour into a dish have their own dietary restrictions that they make by choice. As I honor their decisions, so I would hope that they would honor mine. I honestly believe that we have a right to decide what we eat and that it’s out of respect that I would not add an ingredient I know the person wouldn’t consciously choose for themselves.
To easily explain it, I’ve resorted to calling myself “fussy”. That’s not really the truth, it just stops people from getting their hackles up, thinking that I’m some how sitting on my paleo high horse judging them. I’m not. I’m not the cookie police or the carb police or whatever, who has energy to do that all day. Your body, your choice. My friends are vegetarians, self-proclaimed bread-philes, and people who just couldn’t care less. I offer people the chance to ask me questions and I give very straightforward answers, but in the end it is really their choice and theirs alone. If they choose not to ask–some even deliberately tell me they “just don’t wanna know”–then that is also their choice. I feel called to help women who want my support and guidance coaching them to take control of their own health decisions. I’m not on a mission to “convert” everyone to my way of eating.
To that point, I have friends who also have dietary restriction who I love to visit and eat with. I have yet to find a diet incompatible with mine and I adore cooking food to share with the people in my life. This week, two friends of mine are celebrating their new purchase of their “forever home”. When the invitation went out saying we were welcome to bring food to celebrate, just please make sure it was vegetarian my brain started turning. I definitely do not cook vegetarian often. Most of the vegetarian dishes I make are sides and bringing a side dish to a party seemed a little lame. I had, though, recently started reading My Paleo Patisserie and was having a blast with the book. Since we were nearing the end of the summer a paleo fruit tart seemed like a festive idea and a lovely way to celebrate their new home. Jenni’s pastry cream did have gelatin in it, though, so while I used her nut-free tart crust, I had to create my own pastry cream as the first layer of the filling.
After, I layered a homemade jam on top and sliced fruit with a bit of finely chopped lemon zest as decoration. I am just in love with the result! The pastry cream isn’t as thick as Jenni’s but holds up absolutely fine when cut into slices.
Berries, your choice. Can be fresh or frozen but you need a lot. I used about 40 oz.
2/3 cup of maple syrup. Can add more to taste.
Add the berries to a large pot over medium heat until they release juices and come to a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium low or low, enough to maintain the simmer. Stirring occasionally, continue to cook until the berries are reduced to about 1/4 volume and the consistency is very thick. You should see the bottom of the pot when you give it a good stir. Add maple syrup, taste, and add more as desired. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup maple syrup
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup canned coconut milk
Whisk together egg, egg yolk, and syrup until frothy. Heat the cream cheese and coconut milk over medium low heat and whisk together. When the cream cheese and coconut milk are combined slowly add the egg mixture whisking very quickly. Continue to whisk as you cook over medium heat until it has thickened to the consistency of melted cheese, about 7 minutes. Pour into a clean bowl, cover, and place in the fridge to cool for a few hours.
Fruit and Cream Tart
Your favorite tart crust recipe
1 batch pastry cream
1 batch jam
Fruit for decoration
Add the pastry cream to the already cooked and cooled tart crust (I used the nut-free version from My Paleo Patisserie which I highly recommend). Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm, then add room temperature jam on top, spreading carefully. Decorate with fruit and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.